College baseball: Nic Nelson leads Jackrabbits past NDSU in Summit League Tournament

South Dakota State’s Nic Nelson (left) celebrates with Drew Beazley and Dawson Perry after one of his three home runs in the Jackrabbits 17-4 win over North Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament in Fargo, N.D. (Zachary Lucy photo)

FARGO, N.D. — After losing two-straight to North Dakota State this past weekend, the South Dakota State baseball team began the Summit League Tournament with a dominating 17-4 victory over the Bison on Wednesday at Newman Outdoor Field.

The No. 3 seeded Jackrabbits, who were led by three home runs and eight RBIs from Nic Nelson, had 14 hits in the game and cruised past NDSU.

SDSU (23-26) struck for two runs in the first inning. Luke Parry hit a two-out single to center field and Nelson followed with a home run down the left field line to make it 2-0 Jackrabbits after the first inning. SDSU added one more run in the second inning after Thatcher Kozal reached on a fielder’s choice later scored on a Reece Anderson single to make it 3-0 through two.

The Jacks then blew the game open with five runs in the fourth inning. Drew Beazley and Kozal led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Jess Bellows then grounded out and Beazley scored. Dagen Schramm then walked and Reece Anderson hit a two-run double to make it 7-0. Schramm would later score on a Nelson single and Stuff capped the inning off with an RBI single, making it 9-0 through four innings.

NDSU (22-29) scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth. The first run of the inning came on a Will Busch double. Busch then scored on a single from Peter Brookshaw and Druw Sackett hit an RBI single. The final run of the inning came on a James Dunlap ground out.

SDSU responded with two runs in the top of the sixth. Luke Ira reached on an error with one out and Nelson then came to the plate with two outs and hit his second home run of the game, making it 11-4.

The Jacks then added six more runs in the seventh. The first run of the inning came on a balk. Ira then then hit a two-run single and later scored on a single from Parry. Nelson then hit his third home run of the game and that pushed the lead to 17-4. NDSU loaded the bases in the seventh, but the Jacks got out of the jam and held the Bison scoreless in the final two innings as well.

Nelson finished the night 4-for-5. Anderson was 2-for-6 with two RBIs and Stuff was 1-for-5 with two RBIs. Ira was 1-for-6 with two RBIs and Parry was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Bellows was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Reece Arbogast got the start for SDSU and pitched the first four and a third innings. He gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Brady Hawkins pitched the next inning and a third and gave up four hits with no strikeouts and a walk. Alex Clemons pitched an inning and gave up two hits with one strikeout and one walk. Dylan Driessen pitched an inning and a third and picked up the win. He gave up no hits and had one walk and one strikeout. Dane Toman pitched the ninth and gave up no hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

SDSU will take on No. 1 seeded Oral Roberts today at 6:05 p.m. The Golden Eagles beat No. 4 seeded Omaha 9-2 on Wednesday. ORU, who is 44-11 overall and went 23-1 in conference play, swept SDSU in the two teams three-game series in the regular season and the Golden Eagles outscored the Jacks 33-13 in the three games. The winner of that game will advance to the championship game on Saturday, while the loser will play the winner of NDSU and Omaha on Friday.